Berlin Moves To Protect, Expand Affordable Housing

Berlin's Senate has approved a sweeping reform of the city's housing policy, limiting rents on close to 400,000 public housing units to no more than 30 percent of a household income.

1 minute read

November 16, 2015, 7:00 AM PST

By jwilliams @jwillia22


East Berlin

Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr

In a policy change expected to go into effect on January 1, 2016, rental costs for public housing units in Berlin will be tied to household income. Feargus O'Sullivan of CityLab reports that the change will affect 125,000 public housing units and 280,000 units from state-owned housing companies. To qualify for social or state-owned housing, tenants are currently limited to an annual income of $18,040 for single people and $27,060 for couples (figures in U.S. dollars).

From now on, low-income tenants in these homes will have a guarantee that rent rises will not price them out…

People on low incomes living in social- or state-owned housing will pay no more than a third of their gross income in rent. For tenants in a few buildings with especially high energy costs, that ceiling will be dropped to 25 percent of gross income.

The change, O'Sullivan reports, will allow renters in fast gentrifying neighborhoods to remain in-place with greater protections. Support for renter rights is strong in Berlin, and across Germany, due to the high numbers of renters—estimated at 85 percent of households in Berlin.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 in CityLab

Green rapid transit bus pulled into station in dedicated lane.

Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes

The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.

February 25, 2024 - Fox 59

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

View from shore of Sepulveda Basin water catchment basin with marsh plants along shore.

LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water

The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.

February 25, 2024 - Wired

View of 110 freeway with downtown Los Angeles buildings in background.

LA Freeway Ramp ‘Quietly Canceled’

A 2018 lawsuit forced Metro and Caltrans to do full environmental reviews of the project, leading to its cancellation.

February 29 - Streetsblog LA

Street view of 4th Avenue, a commercial street of shops and restaurants through the city center of downtown Seattle, Washington.

Study: Seattle Vision Zero Projects Not Bad for Business

An analysis of seven road safety project sites showed no negative economic impact on surrounding businesses.

February 29 - UW News

Black-and-white photo of street with old black model T and brick building on the corner.

The History of Racial Zoning and Housing Discrimination in the US

More than a century of discriminatory housing policy divided cities and contributed to the racial wealth gap and other social and economic inequities.

February 29 - Urban Land Magazine

Senior Planner

Heyer Gruel Associates

Regional Transportation Planner

Crater Planning District Commission

Senior Planner- Long range

Prince William County Planning Office

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.